PETA: Iditarod Dog Cruelty in 2021


For immediate release:
18 March 2021

David Pearl 202-483-7382

Willow, Alaska – As the last driver, Victoria Hardwicke, crossed the finish line at Deshka Landing in Willow, Alaska, a team of exhausted dogs this morning, PETA shares an overview of the many incidents that have occurred this year that illustrate why PETA and other interested people around the world want this race to end

  • Musher Dallas Seavey, who races opioid-positive dogs, runs a kennel accused of killing unapproved dogs and owns real estate where a whistleblower said he found dying puppies – finished first after four dogs he drove out. … the tipping point had to be removed from the race.
  • Musher Martin Boozer apparently put the injured dog back in the harness and forced him or her to continue the race, despite footage of the dog limping at the Rainy Pass checkpoint.
  • PETA’s warning came true: Musher Gunnar Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the race. It was then revealed that he was living in a tent with two other drivers – whom Iditarod officials apparently could not identify – until a positive test result. Other COVID-19 risks include cockpits at checkpoints, where, in at least one incident, nearly a dozen unmasked volunteers and pilots gathered together inside.
  • Musher Brenda McKee confessed that she pulled out after the dogs she forced to run suffered from “the worst diarrhea I’ve ever seen,” vomited violently and ended up with aspiration pneumonia, which is the leading cause of dog death. in Iditarod. Two dogs had to be connected to the IVs.
  • About 200 dogs have gone off the track during the race this year due to exhaustion, illness, injury or other reasons.
  • Musher Pete Kaiser stopped racing after the dogs he forced to run became ill, apparently because he did not consider his “team” to be competitive.

“With nearly 200 exhausted, sick and injured dogs off the trail this year, there are many more reasons the Iditarod should end,” says PETA vice president Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is calling for this year’s reckless, disease-spreading race to be the last of the Iditarod.”

Last year, several companies agreed to ditch their sponsorship of Iditarod, which has killed more than 150 dogs from the start, including ExxonMobil, a major sponsor that provides $ 250,000 annually. PETA this month protested at the start and finish of the race and against one of the few remaining major sponsors, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, and its streaming partner, VUit.

More information on this year’s Iditarod can be found here.

PETA, whose motto is in part that “the animals are not ours to be used for entertainment” – opposes arrogance, which is a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information please visit or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

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